David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (2):123-148 (2008)
Three distinct but related questions can be asked about the meaningfulness of one’s life. The first is ‘What is the meaning of life?,’ which can be called ‘the cosmic question about meaningfulness’; the second is ‘What is a meaningful life?,’ which can be called ‘the general question about meaningfulness’; and the third is ‘What is the meaning of my life?,’ which can be called ‘the personal question about meaningfulness.’ I argue that in order to deal with all three questions we should start with the personal question. There is a way of understanding the personal question which allows us to answer it independently of any consideration of the cosmic question, but which nonetheless helps us see why the cosmic question should be dismissed as a bad question. Besides, a recommendable answer to the general question can be derived from my understanding of how the personal question should be answered. Two notions are essential to my account, namely, the notion of identities and the notion of a biographical life. And the account can be epitomized in this enticing way: a person’s life is meaningful if it contains material for an autobiography that she thinks is worth writing and others think is worth reading.
|Keywords||Meaning Meaningfulness Identities Identification Value Biographical life Skepticism Ultimateness Subjective Objective Intersubjective|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Ruth Yeoman (2013). Conceptualising Meaningful Work as a Fundamental Human Need. Journal of Business Ethics:1-17.
Similar books and articles
Fred S. Roberts (1980). On Luce's Theory of Meaningfulness. Philosophy of Science 47 (3):424-433.
Brooke Alan Trisel (2007). Judging Life and Its Value. Sorites (18):60-75.
Berit Brogaard & Barry Smith (2005). On Luck, Responsibility and the Meaning of Life. Philosophical Papers 34 (3):443-458.
Antti Kauppinen (2012). Meaningfulness and Time. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (2):345-377.
Thaddeus Metz (2013). Das Sinnvolle Und Das Lebenswerte: Zur Klärung Ihrer Gemeinsamkeiten Und Unterschiede. In Matthias Hoesch, Sebastian Muders & Markus Rüther (eds.), Glück-Werte-Sinn. Walter de Gruyter. 109-25.
Joshua Seachris (2009). The Meaning of Life as Narrative. Philo 12 (1):5-23.
Raffaele Rodogno (2012). Personal Identity Online. Philosophy and Technology 25 (3):309-328.
Iddo Landau (2011). The Meaning of Life Sub Specie Aeternitatis. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (4):727 - 734.
Kathleen O'Dwyer (forthcoming). Camus' Challenge: The Question of Suicide (Is Life Worth Living). Journal of Humanistic Psychology.
Robert Audi (2005). Intrinsic Value and Meaningful Life. Philosophical Papers 34 (3):331-355.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads45 ( #36,231 of 1,098,955 )
Recent downloads (6 months)9 ( #22,413 of 1,098,955 )
How can I increase my downloads?